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Incorporating the 7 Principles of Design when Creating Websites

June 28, 2022
Ferdie L. Eusebio
5 minute read

Everything that we see in this world is by design. It is everywhere—from the smallest cells to the tallest trees, from the tiniest rocks to the tallest mountains. And it's not just in nature—man-made things are designed, too. The layout of your city was designed, the clothes you're wearing were designed, and even the mobile phones you use were designed.

Design is an incredibly important part of our lives, yet it's something that many people don't think about. When most people think of design, they think of art or fashion. But design is so much more than that—it's the process of creating something that solves a problem or meets a need.

The same can be said about websites; everything from the layout to the colors and images used is carefully planned out to achieve a specific goal or purpose.

To create a successful website, it is important to incorporate design principles. These principles are all important factors that contribute to the overall look and feel of a site.

This article will talk about how to use the principles of design when creating websites so you can be assured of not just a functional website, but a good looking one.

What are the Principles of Design?

Design principles are the rules that artists use to create their work. Balance, rhythm, contrast, unity, and more are all important design aspects. By understanding and applying these principles, artists can create visually appealing artwork that is pleasing to the eye and effective in conveying their message.

  1. Balance
  2. Scale
  3. Contrast
  4. Pattern
  5. Movement and Rhythm
  6. Emphasis
  7. Unity

Let us discuss them one by one.

1. Balance

Balance is one of the most important principles of design. It helps to create a sense of visual stability and order, which can be essential in achieving the desired effect.

The two main types of balance are called symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance is when the elements on either side of the centerline are identical or exact images of each other. This type of balance is often seen in traditional, formal designs.

Asymmetrical balance is when the elements on either side of the centerline are different but still have a sense of visual stability. This type of balance is often seen in more contemporary designs. In both cases, it is important to consider the overall weight of the elements and their individual sizes and shapes.

By carefully considering these factors, it is possible to create a visually balanced design that is pleasing to the eye.

2. Scale

In design, the word "scale" refers to the relationship between an object and its surroundings. This can be affected by both the size of the object itself and the size of other elements in the design.

For example, a small painting hung on a large wall will have a different effect than a large painting hung on a small wall. In general, designers must be mindful of scale when creating any kind of composition.

This is because the human eye naturally gravitates to certain proportions, and an imbalance in scale can create an unsettling feeling. Too much empty space, for instance, can make a design feel cold and sterile.

On the other hand, too much clutter can make a design feel busy and overwhelming. The trick is to find a balance that feels both harmonious and visually interesting.

With a little practice, anyone can learn to create compositions with a pleasing sense of scale.

3. Contrast

Designers often use contrast to direct the viewer's attention to a particular element on a page. By using a light color against a dark background, or vice versa, designers can create a striking visual effect that makes an element stand out.

Contrast can also be used to create a sense of movement or flow within a design. For instance, by using lighter colors for background elements and darker colors for foreground elements, designers can give the illusion of depth and create the impression that elements are moving towards the viewer.

In addition, contrast can be used to convey different moods or messages within a design. For example, warm colors tend to be associated with excitement or happiness, while cool colors are often used to create a feeling of calm or relaxation.

Ultimately, contrast is an extremely versatile tool that can be used in a variety of ways to create visually appealing and effective designs.

4. Pattern

The pattern is an important design principle that can be used to add interest and visual appeal to a space. Patterns can be created using a variety of elements, including color, line, shape, and texture.

When used effectively, patterns can add depth and dimension to a design. They can also be used to create a sense of movement or rhythm. In some cases, patterns can even be used to convey a message or convey a specific meaning.

When choosing patterns for a design, it is important to consider the overall effect that you are hoping to achieve. Patterns can be used in both interior and exterior design. For example, they can be used to add interest to a room by creating focal points or accent walls.

Patterns can also be used on buildings and landscape features to create visual interest. When selecting patterns for exterior design, it is important to consider the scale of the space and the amount of sunlight that the space receives. Patterns can be created using a variety of materials, including paint, tile, stone, and popular press format: paper, glass, metal, fabric, and glass.

Each material has its own unique properties that can be exploited to create interesting and visually appealing patterns. For example, glass tiles can be used to create reflective surfaces that add depth and dimension to a space.

Ultimately, the pattern is a versatile design principle that can be used in a variety of ways to create unique and visually appealing spaces.

5. Movement and Rhythm

Designers often talk about movement and rhythm as key principles of good design. But what exactly do those terms mean? In general, movement refers to the way the eye is drawn around a piece, while rhythm refers to the repetition of visual elements. Together, these principles help to create a sense of flow and unity in a design.

Movement can be created in a number of ways, but one of the most common is via the use of line. Lines can be used to lead the eye in a specific direction, or they can be used to create patterns and shapes that draw attention. Color can also be used to create movement, especially when it contrasts with the surrounding area. For example, a brightly colored object in an otherwise monochromatic scene is likely to stand out and attract attention.

On the other hand, rhythm is created by repeating certain elements throughout a design. This could involve using similar shapes, colors, or patterns in different areas of the design. Rhythm can also be created through the use of texture or lighting effects. By repeating certain visual elements, designers can create a sense of harmony and balance in their work.

6. Emphasis

Emphasis draws attention to certain elements and creates a focal point. There are several ways to create emphasis, but the most common is through the use of contrast.

This can be done by using different colors, shapes, or sizes. Another way to create emphasis is through the use of repetition. This is also done by repeating an element throughout the design or using a pattern.

In some cases, designers will also use a combination of these techniques to create a more effective design. However, it is important to use emphasis sparingly, as too much can lead to a cluttered and confusing design.

When used correctly, emphasis can help to add visual interest and direct the viewer’s attention to the most important elements of the design.

7. Unity

In any design, whether it be for a website, a brochure, or even a simple flyer, unity is an important principle to keep in mind. Essentially, unity refers to the overall cohesiveness of the design; all the elements should work together to create a unified look.

There are several ways to achieve unity in a design. One is to use repetition, which can be achieved by using similar colors, shapes, or patterns throughout the design. Another way to create unity is through contrast; you can create visual interest and pull the viewer's eye around the design by using contrasting colors or shapes.

Unity can also be achieved through alignment; making sure all the elements are aligned in a clean and orderly fashion gives the design a sense of structure and stability.

By keeping these principles of unity in mind, you can create attractive and effective designs.

How to Incorporate Design Principles in your Web Design Project

If you are working on a web design project, it is important to incorporate some basic design principles in order to create a cohesive and visually appealing site.


Layout is a vital part of design - it's all about how you arrange the elements on a page (or screen). There are various principles of layout that you can use to create an effective and eye-catching design. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the rule of thirds.

This is where you divide the page into three equal sections, both horizontally and vertically. Then, you place the important elements of your design at the intersecting points. This creates a more visually interesting composition than just placing everything in the center of the page.

Another important principle to consider is negative space. This is the empty space around and between the elements of your design. It's often overlooked, but it's actually a very powerful tool - by using negative space, you can create balance, focus attention on specific elements, and add visual interest.

When used correctly, these principles can help to create a layout that is both effective and visually appealing.


Color is one of the most important design elements in any composition. It can be used to create a sense of harmony or tension, to draw the eye to a particular area, or to convey a mood or message. When choosing colors for a design, it is important to consider their meaning and how they will work together.

For example, warm colors such as red and orange tend to be associated with energy and excitement, while cool colors like blue and green are often associated with calmness and relaxation.

In addition, colors can also be used to create visual interest or contrast. For instance, using a light color against a dark background can help to make an object stand out. By understanding the principles of color theory, designers can use color effectively to create stunning visual compositions.

Appearance on Various Screen Sizes

As anyone who's ever dealt with responsive design knows, one of the trickiest things about creating digital content is making sure that it looks good on a variety of different screen sizes. But whether you're designing a website or an app, there are some basic principles of design that you can keep in mind to help ensure that your content looks its best no matter where it's being viewed.

For starters, it's important to remember that not all devices have the same pixel density, so what looks crisp and clear on one screen might appear blurry on another. That's why it's important to use vector graphics whenever possible, as they can be scaled up or down without losing any quality. Similarly, try to avoid using very small text, as it can be difficult to read on smaller screens.

It's also important to consider the different ways that people will be interacting with your content. On a desktop computer, people are likely to be using a mouse or trackpad, so buttons and other clickable elements should be large enough to be easily clicked. On a smartphone, people will be tapping with their fingers, so buttons and other elements should be spaced out sufficiently to avoid accidental clicks.

By keeping these basic principles in mind, you can help ensure that your website looks its best on any device.

How to Collaborate with your Design Team

Now that you understand how to use design to increase sales, it’s time to put these principles into practice. If someone else is designing your website for you or if you’re a graphic designer seeking to apply these principles to the design, you need to make sure you communicate these aspects to other members of the team.

One great way to do this is by using Instacap. With Instacap, you can easily share ideas, make changes, and get feedback that you can instantly implement and incorporate in your design. Best of all, it has a free plan! Test it here.

Final Thoughts

Creating a website is not a walk in the park, but it will be a lot easier if you take the time to use the right principles of design. With a good understanding of how to use colors, fonts, and whitespace, you can create a visually appealing website that is easy to use.

Also, remember to keep the user experience in mind, collaborate with your team, and test your site on different devices before you launch it.

What design principle are you going to start with? Comment below!

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